Czech town that repeated elections three times may see vote-buying again
News server iDNES.cz reports that in the town of Krupka (Teplice district), where the most recent local elections had to be repeated three times because of vote-buying, locals are again receiving reports that parties are planning to offer to buy votes. Some local political associations are training the members of the local electoral commission on how to spot vote-buying and planning to patrol the streets during the elections.
"Information has surfaced that certain people are driving Romani leaders to supermarkets and buying them groceries in order to get their commitment. These leaders are then supposed to distribute bribes to Romani voters on the housing estate," claims Pavel Maleček of the Zdravá Krupka (Healthy Krupka) association, which loudly drew attention to vote-buying in the town four years ago.
Back then voters received CZK 300 per vote. Maleček says it is not yet clear how much is being offered this year.
Zdravá Krupka is establishing patrols to follow events in the town on election day. They are also training their members who sit on the local electoral commission and are willing to monitor the course of the October elections at the polls.
"We are urging them to always have one member at the polling place so we can be certain that manipulation is not occurring directly at the polls," Maleček said. During the last elections, suspicions of vote-rigging fell most frequently on the ČSNS Association and the NK-Šance pro město (Independent Candidates - Chance for the Town) group.
The leader of NK-Šance pro město was Zdeněk Matouš, who ultimately became the mayor. He has always rejected allegations that he had anything to do with vote-buying.
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